Edward Parker Simmons Jr. 89, died Dec. 5, 2017, after a lengthy illness. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betty Brady Simmons; sons, John (Wanda) Simmons and Donnie (Lauren) Simmons; a daughter, Betty (Jimmy) Maddry; five grandchildren, Nevaeh Simmons, Molly Simmons Ellington, Fallon Stallings, Angie Wolkow and Edward Fincher; and 11 great-grandchildren. A daughter, Tamara Simmons Fincher, preceded him in death.
Edward was born April 2, 1928, in New Bern, NC, and at age 6 moved to Lenoir, NC, with his parents Edward Parker Simmons and Mollie Noe Simmons. A graduate of Lenoir High School, Edward as a young man was a volunteer firefighter and helped his father at the North Carolina Forestry Service, as well as in the family businesses, dealerships for John Deere, GMC and Packard. He studied business administration at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. After a stint in the U. S. Navy from 1947-1952, Edward went on to positions with NASA during the pioneering years of the U.S. space program at Cape Canaveral, the North Carolina Highway Patrol and Pinkerton National Detective and Security Agency. He retired as a contract security guard at age 70.
To Edward’s family, and all who knew him, he will be remembered as a man of God who was devoted to his family.
A memorial will be held at New Hope Baptist Church, 7841 Idlewild Road, on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Visitation from 1-1:45 p.m., memorial service at 2 p.m.